A Plant In London Zoo Managed To Capture A Selfie On Its Own
By Thanussha Priyah, 17 Oct 2019
Image via Shutterstock.com
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has announced that a plant has taken the botanical world’s first selfie.
Pete the fern is able to capture a selfie independently every 20 seconds from a combination of fuel cells. A single fuel cell can generate 0.1 milliwatts of power, according to the BBC.
ZSL’s Conservation Technology Specialist AI Davies explained that plants “naturally deposit bio-matter as they grow,” and this nourishes the natural bacteria in the soil, delivering energy to power fuel cells.
With the use of fuel cells, a “wide range of vital conservation tools” like monitoring platforms, sensors and camera traps can be powered by the plant itself.
ZSL installed the microbial fuel cells at London Zoo’s Rainforest Life Exhibit, enabling Pete to snap a picture of itself. The microbial fuel is able to transform chemical energy into electrical energy from the action of microorganisms. In this instance, the microorganisms come from the soil.
This is how the plant’s energy is obtained. Plants are able to obtain sugars and oxygen through photosynthesis, and these sugars run through the plant, moving past its roots and stem.
Some sugars are then expelled by the roots into the soil as waste product. The microorganisms in the soil fragmentize these sugars, converting them into energy.
Davies also shared that plants growing under shades are able to organically reposition themselves to absorb sunlight. Therefore, this natural method has endless “potential for plant-powered energy.”
ZSL is planning to begin a second trial in the wild.
A fern called Pete growing in our Rainforest Life exhibit has taken the world’s first plant-powered #selfie! It looks like Bandit's impressed! Find out how this could revolutionise field #conservation: https://t.co/pC8gTj5Ats #TuesdayMotivation pic.twitter.com/bVCUUAyvuj— ZSL London Zoo (@zsllondonzoo) October 15, 2019
[via BBC, images via Shutterstock.com]
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